Gardening


This photo is showing direct composting. I periodically dig a shallow hole and dump vegetable waste, coffee grounds and egg shells into it. Cover it  and wait for it to rot. (My husband's dog does the same thing with his bones. He's not allowed in my garden.) 

Don't do what I did and accidentally the cut roots of your tomato plant. 

Next year I will put the vegetable waste under the straw I use for mulch, and skip the hole. 
Here are turnip leaves. See the good little ladybug. See the nasty, flea beetles. Look carefully on the right leaf.  I had hundreds of the the suckers, hopping just like a fleas chewing the life out of the turnips, cabbages, kale and radishes. The leaves didn't look pretty, but grew just fine after some intervention. I put nematodes in the garden to eat the beetle larvae and I covered the plants with wedding veil. Next year I'll also plant radishes as a 'trap' crop. 




My garden is my sanctuary. I'm in heaven rooting around in the dirt getting my fingernails black.

Colorado soil, mine anyway, is mostly heavy clay. Our hot, dry summers turn into  unfriendly hardpan.  Because I garden without insecticides it's even more of a challenge. I've read that the first line of defense against plant diseases and voracious, plant chewing, root sucking insects is healthy soil. The better the soil, the fewer the problems.  

My most awesome garden helpers are the worms! See the worm farming page if you want to know more.


























 In the upper photo I'm in the process of hanging 40% shade cloth. That means forty percent of our scorching summer sun is blocked. Everything, including me. I'm from Maine. I don't do 102 degrees! Shade cloth also works like a trampoline for the hail. The bean leaf in the photo below is one that wasn't covered. Before shade cloth the whole garden could get hit with dime sized hail and look like some nut had been shooting my plants with buckshot. Everything gets pulverized.
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